February 5, 2024

Keynote: The future is now—Novel solutions to advance health equity and improve patient outcomes

Editor's Note

Young Juhn, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, research lab director, and clinical investigator at Mayo Clinic, is opening the OR Business Management Conference today by walking attendees through the Mayo Clinic HOUSES (housing-based socioeconomic status) Program. HOUSES was “developed, validated, and implemented…for measuring individual socioeconomic status based on housing features” in order to “maximize health potential for people and populations across all socioeconomic backgrounds and eliminate health disparities” using technology.

US healthcare is complex, and health organizations grapple with how to effectively measure and address social determinants of health (SDOH), which play a pivotal role in treatment outcomes. By acknowledging the influence of SDOH and confronting the social factors underlying health disparities, health systems can devise care plans tailored to the unique needs of individuals. This approach not only incentivizes adherence to treatment regimens, it should help boost patient satisfaction and outcomes. Accomplishing this, however, is made difficult by a scarcity of validated, automated, scalable, and real-time patient data, as well as by the challenges posed by biased artificial intelligence tools that are being gaining more traction in healthcare.

Dr Juhn's presentation will review the transformative potential of advanced technologies and innovative platforms like HOUSES and the importance of leveraging such tools to overcome these barriers. The goals, Dr Juhn will stress, are to:

  • translate scientific evidence into practice and policy
  • enable precision medicine for population health
  • achieve high-value-based care and improve health equity.

Attendees will learn to recognize and understand the challenges in capturing and tackling SDOH, and explore the application of the HOUSES Program and its cloud-based platform as a solution to the national challenges of accurately gauging SDOH. Navigating the complexities of SDOH with a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that not only acknowledges but actively addresses the nuanced ways in which SDOH influence health outcomes will push patient care toward a more equitable healthcare system where every individual, regardless of their social circumstances, has the opportunity to achieve optimal health.


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